Keeping your aquarium at a consistent temperature is vital to the health of your fish – especially if you own a saltwater aquarium. That’s because the temperature of a saltwater aquarium (and the room in which the aquarium sits) plays an important role in its salinity. As temperatures drop, saltwater water becomes denser. And dense water increases an aquarium’s salinity. High salinity as well as low salinity isn’t healthy for saltwater fish – so to keep your aquarium at a consistent warmth, you’re going to need an appropriate heater.
Two Aquarium Heaters Are Better Than One
It isn’t uncommon for aquarium heaters to suddenly stop functioning. Depending upon the climate in which you live, they could operate twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. This constant operation is sure to eventually run down such a small appliance. But all is not lost – Just be prepared and buy two aquarium heaters! You can use both of them in a single tank – alternating their use from time to time. In doing so, you’ll reduce the wear and tear that can occur from constant operation and basically extend the life of each.
Internal Vs External Aquarium Heaters
Now when you’re faced with the myriad of choices available, you’ll have better success by selecting a heater built for internal use. An internal heater is placed inside of an aquarium on its bottom floor. External aquarium heaters are hung on the external side of an aquarium. The problem with external heaters is that they don’t distribute heat throughout an aquarium as evenly as internal heaters do.
Appropriate Heating Goals
The heaters that you purchase should effectively warm an aquarium 2-5 watts per gallon. Never use heaters that seemingly take up a large amount of tank space. Heaters that do this (remember, you’re using two at a time) are entirely too large and will heat your aquarium to an excessive warmth.
To monitor how well your heaters are performing, you’ll want to additionally purchase a set of thermometers. And as you might have guessed, even these come in a wide variety to choose from too. You’ll find floating thermometers, hanging thermometers, and strip thermometers that you can stick onto the side of your aquarium. Which is best? Many aquarium enthusiasts recommend that you use a combination of them at one time to get an accurate reading. Your goal aquarium temperature should be at least 70° F (21° C). If it takes more than one thermometer to reach that goal – then it’s an investment well made.